5) Specifically, the Article examines the SROE
provisions governing self-defense, which are a vestige of outdated Cold War concepts misaligned with the underlying legal basis for authorizing individuals and small-unit commanders to exercise self-defense at the subnational level.
According to the SROE
, "Unless otherwise directed by a unit
10) In addition, the expanding presence of the media within military operations has further scrutinized self-defense SROE
in the eyes of the American public, commonly characterizing it as ineffective and limiting the ability of servicemembers to defend themselves.
The 2000 SROE
, for example, state: "The exercise of the right and obligation of national self defense by competent authority is separate from and in no way limits the commander's right and obligation to exercise unit self-defense.
In the absence of superseding guidance, the SROE
establish fundamental policies and procedures governing the actions to be taken by U.
While the practical effect of this conflation may be de minimis in combat operations where the LOAC, including the DPH rule, would justify the vast majority of engagements, the potential for this overbroad interpretation and application of self-defense authorities to bleed over to noncombat operations is all too real and calls for a recalibration of the use-of-force construct in the SROE
define "hostile act" as "an attack or other use of force against the United States, U.
The expanded national guidance represented in the SROEs
has greatly assisted in providing both clarity and flexibility for our combatant commanders.
is instructive, since they are based on what one expert calls the "three pillars--national policy, operational requirements, and law.
Further, in the critical arena of self-defense, the SROE
only concerns itself with "when" to attack to destroy, but not with "how," again leaving many commanders to focus on the last resort language.
Self-Defense Principle of "Proportionality" Distinguished
However, the pilots contend that they acted in self-defense in accordance with SROE